Activity Introduction

Quick summary: Students observe how water vapour forms clouds, by creating a cloud in a jar.

These Snappy Science resources have been created to boost science education in primary schools across Australia. Each lesson is designed to support teachers with the scientific knowledge, ideas and resources to stimulate a sense of wonder and curiosity in their students. Many of the big issues that Australian society will face in the future are around technology, energy, resources and climate change. All of these require students to engage with science – but most of all to enjoy science!

Science at Home: These Snappy Science resources can also be used to engage families in fun science and learning for life. You can download a student friendly version of this activity here and you can also check out the Snappy Science Digital Library.

General capabilities: Critical and creative thinking.

Australian Curriculum content description: This activity is relevant to Science Inquiry Skills across all primary year levels of the Australian Curriculum.

Year 1 Science

  • Observable changes occur in the sky and landscape (ACSSU019)

Year 2 Science

  • Earth’s resources, including water, are used in a variety of ways (ACSSU032)

Year 5 Science

  • Solids, liquids and gases have different observable properties and behave in different ways (ACSSU077)

Syllabus OutcomesST1-8ES, ST1-9ES, ST2-7PW

Time required: 10 – 15 minutes.

Resources required: Glass jar with lid, 50ml boiled water from the kettle, aerosol can (eg. hairspray), ice.

Safety advice: This activity requires very hot water – depending on student age and ability this activity may be either a student-led experiment or a teacher-led demonstration.

Keywords: Clouds, water vapour, jar.

Cool Australia’s curriculum team continually reviews and refines our resources to be in line with changes to the Australian Curriculum.


Teacher Worksheet

Teacher preparation: 

Brief summary:

Students observe how water vapour forms clouds, by creating a cloud in a jar.

Students can use the Predict, Observe, Explain table on the Student Worksheet to describe and reflect upon this experiment.

You will need:

  • Glass jar with lid
  • 50ml boiled water from the kettle
  • Aerosol can (e.g. hairspray)
  • Ice

What to do:

Step 1. Boil the kettle and pour about 2cm of hot boiled water into the jar. Swirl the hot water in the jar so that it heats up the sides of the jar.

Step 2. Turn the lid of the jar upside down and rest it on top of the jar. Add several ice cubes to the lid and leave for several seconds.

Step 3. Take it lid off and quickly squirt in some hairspray (or whatever aerosol you're using). Put the lid - with the ice resting in it - back on top of the jar.

Step 4. Watch the cloud form inside the jar. When it is fully formed, take the lid off and watch the cloud escape.

How does it work?

The atmosphere needs three ingredient

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Student Worksheet

In this experiment you will be making a cloud in a jar.


Explain what you think will happen:


Explain what happened:


Explain why you think this happened:

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